On Monday, February 20, Belmont University hosted a curb seminar, “Bruins on a Mission,” featuring guest speakers and Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business alum Lacy Cowden, admin assistant of advocacy and membership at The Recording Academy, Matt Fox, co-founder and president of Make Music Nashville and owner of Fox in a Box Marketing & PR andRachel Fermin Stansell, national projects coordinator of the T.J. Martell Foundation. They shared with students how their jobs in the music industry intersect with service and how to incorporate the skills acquired at Belmont in the nonprofit world.
Fox shared that the trickiest part of starting a nonprofit is committing to it holding onto the motivation to keep moving. He advised students to build a team that understands what you are going for and has the same motivation that you do. Stansell agreed with Fox that the hardest part is the follow-through, but also that you can’t give up in the nonprofit world. Cowden shared that it is hard to have so many things that you want to fix or help with but can’t at the moment. She said that it is best to find what it is that you can fix and put everything you have into that.
Cowden advised students to keep their eyes open for new opportunities and to be curious and patient. Stansell shared that if she had kept her blinders on, she would have never entered the nonprofit world or known what she knows today. Fox shared that when working in the nonprofit world, to figure out a growth strategy for your organization and run with it.
Cowden stated that Belmont still instills a sense of curiosity in her and that it gave her the tools to learn in the industry. She shared that Belmont helped her astronomically in the nonprofit world and shared that music business classes like copyright law will really come in handy in this industry. Fox said not to bog yourself down with things you don’t want to be doing, and if you feel like doing something else, give it a shot.
The session concluded with Cowden saying it’s more important to know what you don’t want to do as what you do. She said that this knowledge whittles it down and keeps other options open. This event was moderated by Sarah Cates, director of development and industry relations in the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.